vrijdag 20 april 2012

A Twinkle in the Eye.

You wake up in the morning, rub your sleepy eyes. As you’re getting ready to face the day you put in your contact lens, which will make the Internet and all your files, playlists, GPS, favorite apps, and addicting games literally available with the blink of an eye. Scientists are already at the animal testing phase of the technology that will make this possible. (Yes, but who would want to wear a contact lens if one didn’t have to, might be the counter argument. Around a hundred million people wear contact lenses; so this technology has a significant market of potential early adopters. It would only be a matter of time before it caught on.)

Making this technology functional, comfortable, and safe is the work of Babak Parviz, a bionanotechnology expert at the University of Washington, in Seattle. The idea came to him from morning after morning of putting in his contact lenses. So he’s made it his mission to assemble an energy-storage module, telecommunication and power reception antenna, biosensor module, solar cell module (for additional power), and other highly sophisticated bit parts onto a consumer ready 1.5 square centimeter, transparent contact lens

In this lens concept, an antenna at the periphery collects incoming RF energy from a separate portable transmitter. Power-conversion circuitry provides DC power to other parts of the system and sends instructions to the display control circuit. The display, at the center, might consist of LEDs, which would turn on and off, or LCD-like elements, whose transparency would be modulated by the control circuit. An energy-storage module, perhaps a large capacitor, is connected to a solar cell, which could provide a boost to the lens. A biosensor samples the surface of the cornea, performs an analysis, and provides data to the telecommunication module to transmit to an external computer.

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